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I don’t consider myself a fussy person. I’m perfectly fine to stay in 3-stars hotels. I’m more concerned about the matters of cleanliness. This is the reason why camping was never an activity that cross my mind.

I did camp once when I was in South Africa but it was slightly more leisurely as our tent was already set up. Our friends also had a caravan parked next to our tent with all the facilities ready. Recently I just came back from a camping trip in Cameron Highlands with my family and friends. This time, I got to haul tons of stuff to the camping site and setting up the tents. It was a hell lot of work compared to my first camping trip.

It was an interesting experience. Although there were certain areas that prevented me from enjoying it 100%, it’s now an activity that I would get on board whenever there’s a chance. This is mainly because I’ve learned to step out of my comfort zone and that’s really important to me. 

Here are a few things I learned from my experience in camping that we could truly apply in our lives:

Closer family and friendship bond

Spending time with your loved ones outdoor in the nature is different from eating dinner at home or hanging out at the mall. When it comes to camping, you’re relying on each other in a symbiotic kind of relationship. Working together to set up the tent, get the fire started, cook or just hanging out at the campsite, you form a new type of bond that you typically don’t experience during regular activities.

Material possessions are not as important as we think

When you’re in the wild, you’ll come to realize that we don’t need a lot of stuff. Well, we obviously couldn’t bring all our belongings to the campsite even though we may be camping for a week. We would be “forced” to only bring what we truly need for survival purpose such as food preparation items, clothing and of course our tent (the shelter.) So far I have only tried camping for 2 nights and I could truly forget all the material possessions including even my phone and laptop. What I missed when I was campsite was my two furkids who didn’t come with us. Otherwise, I was pretty contented with what I had at that moment; my family and good food.

Food taste better

Preparing food at campsite was an exhilarating experience and yes, it does taste better than our regular home cooked meals, at least to me. Just imagine you’re busy setting up the tent, carrying woods and buckets of water, hiking, and preparing food, by the time the meals are ready to be served, your body is exhausted. All you could think about at that moment was to just sit down with a warm tasty meal. Even a simple dish can taste like a gourmet meal.

The importance of contributing

Camping is one of the best activities to learn the importance of contribution and teamwork. To set up a proper and liveable campsite, we need every camp members to contribute to the tasks at hand. Without everyone’s contribution, the workload can be overwhelming for the ones who are involved in setting up. 

Appreciating the nature

Unless you live in the countryside, we hardly get the opportunity to spend time in the nature. When we go camping deep in the forest, our five senses are set in motion. Instead of city lights, you enjoy the sights of the moon and stars in the dark sky. How about the sound of nature? The rustling of trees, the chirping sound from the crickets or from my last camping trip, the sound of river flowing was just so soothing.

Getting out of comfort zone

The decision to go camping was definitely an uncomfortable one for me to make. However, I’m glad I decided to be okay with being uncomfortable. I told myself that it’s good to break away from my normal routine and try something different that you’ve never tried before. Although it may feel frightening in the beginning, know that you’ll be able to develop a higher tolerance for discomfort which can benefit you in the long run. Besides, you won’t be alone in this. You’ll have your family and friends as well as other campers who are usually pretty helpful.

Unplug from technology

We’re all so engorged in technology like our phones, laptops, TV, etc. When you’re out in the nature, you can take the opportunity to unplug from these distractions. Whether you like it or not, you would be too busy to even be bothered with your emails and social media news feed. Moreover, you might not even get any reception. It’s the best time to have a good conversation with the people who are there with you.